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    You are in: Home / Recipes / Tortoiseshell Tofu Recipe
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    Tortoiseshell Tofu

    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    20 mins

    5 mins

    15 mins

    Nose's Note:

    This dish gets its name from the look of the glossy amber-colored sauce swirled over the tan tofu. You should enjoy the taste and texture of tofu to try this dish -- it's its own flavor, not pretend meat -- so use a good, quality tofu. This is silky, savory, and tasty, and more than the sum of its simple parts. From Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji. Note: I have never added salt to anything containing soy sauce... until this dish. The recipe really does need it.

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    Units: US | Metric

    • 2 cups dashi (see recipe 77195) or 2 cups low-fat chicken broth
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
    • 2 tablespoons mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine)
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 1 (18 ounce) package silken tofu or 1 (18 ounce) package other tofu, but then see below
    • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 3 tablespoons water
    • 1 teaspoon shredded fresh ginger


    1. 1
      If you are using anything other than silken tofu, you will need to press it for an hour-- but do NOT press silken tofu; it will crumble.
    2. 2
      Mix dashi, sugar, mirin, and soy sauce in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil.
    3. 3
      Turn down to a simmer.
    4. 4
      Taste: the flavor will be out of balance, a bit too sweet.
    5. 5
      Add salt a bit at a time, tasting often, until the flavors are balanced.
    6. 6
      Cut the tofu cake into four equal pieces and carefully slide them into the pot.
    7. 7
      Be careful to keep the heat at a simmer-- higher heat will make the tofu crumble.
    8. 8
      Ladle the liquid over the top and sides until the tofu is heated thoroughly, about 4 minutes.
    9. 9
      With a spatula, gently remove the tofu pieces to deep individual dishes, 2 pieces per serving.
    10. 10
      Keep the pot on the heat.
    11. 11
      Mix the water and cornstarch and add to the simmering liquid.
    12. 12
      Stir until thickened, about 1 minute.
    13. 13
      Ladle the thickened sauce over the heated tofu.
    14. 14
      Garnish with ginger.
    15. 15
      Eat with teaspoons rather than chopsticks; this is very soft.
    16. 16
      For Vegetarian use Dashi.

    Ratings & Reviews:

    • on August 22, 2005


      There was a minor mishap in my kitchen when I made this dish, so I left the tofu on to boil too long, and therefore I think too much of the liquid boiled off because when I went to put in the cornstarch it was much too thick. Well I managed to salvage it, and even with all my mistakes it turned out to be one tasty recipe, so why wait until I make it again to review?! Thanks Nose, by BF also thought it was fantastic! Note I used pickled fresh ginger as a garnish because I didn't think unpickled fresh ginger would taste very good and used vegetable broth instead of dashi. P.S. Although I used silken tofu, I was confused as to why the other types needed to be pressed.

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    • on May 15, 2005


      Oooh! This is silky, savory, almost creamy tasting comfort food, Japanese-style. We used dashi from a mix and didn't find that we needed to add any salt. We added some thinly sliced strips of carrots and onion to make this more of a one-dish meal. Wonderful balance of flavors and just... oooh, so good. We served over medium-grain brown rice and it made a wonderful meal. One of the best things we've ever made with tofu. Thanks, Snowy. ;) A keeper.

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No


    Nutritional Facts for Tortoiseshell Tofu

    Serving Size: 1 (325 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 2

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 217.2
    Calories from Fat 62
    Total Fat 6.9 g
    Saturated Fat 0.9 g
    Cholesterol 0.0 mg
    Sodium 1189.4 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 23.6 g
    Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
    Sugars 7.0 g
    Protein 14.2 g

    The following items or measurements are not included:


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